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2 hours ago, Warelin said:

FWIW:  I choose a program ranked "lower" than another by about 9 spots. The other program wasn't in a location I could see myself being happy in. I ended up choosing a program that was in a location I preferred and offered a decent stipend compared to the cost of living. I spend a fair amount on housing but that's because it's what I choose to "splurge" on. Our stipend increases yearly but I think it's also important to recognize that previous students also fought to make sure that stipends were fair. It wasn't long ago that (at other schools) students weren't guaranteed a stipend which created a lot of tension between the funded and unfunded students. One will never become rich from their stipend but I do think it's important to have a balance between security, placement, location and mental health. I think it's also important to understand that an acceptance to any school does not guarantee a job into schools they've previously placed in without the proper amount of work. If one is too tapped out, a program's money won't cure it all. If one fails out because they don't meet standards, it doesn't matter where one goes if they can't graduate or work to their best ability. In the end, it's up to you to decide how you manage your time though.

I think there are brilliant scholars at multiple schools but think it's also important to realize that professors can leave at anytime for any reason. A scholar I was interested in at a different school is now working at another school. Another scholar I'm interested in working with is leaving a school ranked in the top 20 for English and moving here despite her having tenure over there. The professor will keep her tenure here but I think it's important to realize that professors can and sometimes do leave their previous positions for things other than retirment. Sometimes, the environment is equally as important to them and they might not always know how much students are being given as a stipend here. Another recently hired professor formerly taught at a school that is ranked in the 60s/70s and was offered the position over someone who taught at an HYP institution because the fit was better.

Thank you for sharing! I will definitely take all of this into consideration. 

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That would be me. My first acceptance and I’m thrilled.

just got my Michigan offer. 6 years funding. Fuck. 

IN AT YALE!!!  IM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE 

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I have more or less a full ride offer from Toledo. It is my only fully funded offer at the moment.

I am so nervous about moving to the city, though--everything I've read indicates it is high in crime, violence, and poverty. Anyone here familiar with this area of Ohio? What would you say if I was considering rejecting the offer because the city is really rough? Please help. I wish it didn't look so negative at first glance but everything I've read suggests this to be the case.

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I am finding myself stuck in my decision between WashU and Penn State. The stipend/COL is roughly the same for both programs. I have gotten along well with the faculty members I have met at WashU. They all indicated that the university would be a great fit for my interests; the DGS was especially adamant on this point. At Penn State, I have spoken with only one faculty member in my prospective field, but I got along well with her. There seem to be many resources for studying the twentieth century at PSU, and the larger department could give me more opportunities to branch out into other subfields. At the same time, Penn State requires more teaching than WashU. I would be on fellowship during my first year and then teach three classes in my second year, whereas WashU would have me teach a 1:1 starting in my third year. In contrast to PSU, WashU's stipend is not dependent on my teaching, which I think is a major point in that program's favor. One of my undergrad professors has told me as well that in this economic climate, attending a private university might be the more stable choice. But then again, Penn State would be the easier move for me, and, from what I have heard about crime in both areas, State College would be the less stressful place to live, at least during the beginning of the program.

I'm in contact with my mentors and with professors from both programs, but I still feel stuck. Does anyone have thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Puurple said:

I have more or less a full ride offer from Toledo. It is my only fully funded offer at the moment.

I am so nervous about moving to the city, though--everything I've read indicates it is high in crime, violence, and poverty. Anyone here familiar with this area of Ohio? What would you say if I was considering rejecting the offer because the city is really rough? Please help. I wish it didn't look so negative at first glance but everything I've read suggests this to be the case.

I think people have a tendency to be dramatic when it comes to crime. When I was heading to study in Russia, everyone was going on about terrorism. When I was moving to DC, everyone was going on about crime. I say perhaps talk to real people who live there. I have an aunt, uncle, and three cousins who have lived in Toledo forever, and a good friend from college from Toledo. They're all fine. I went a few times as a kid and I lived, haha. I hear Toledo has a great art museum.

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1 hour ago, Wimsey said:

I am finding myself stuck in my decision between WashU and Penn State. The stipend/COL is roughly the same for both programs. I have gotten along well with the faculty members I have met at WashU. They all indicated that the university would be a great fit for my interests; the DGS was especially adamant on this point. At Penn State, I have spoken with only one faculty member in my prospective field, but I got along well with her. There seem to be many resources for studying the twentieth century at PSU, and the larger department could give me more opportunities to branch out into other subfields. At the same time, Penn State requires more teaching than WashU. I would be on fellowship during my first year and then teach three classes in my second year, whereas WashU would have me teach a 1:1 starting in my third year. In contrast to PSU, WashU's stipend is not dependent on my teaching, which I think is a major point in that program's favor. One of my undergrad professors has told me as well that in this economic climate, attending a private university might be the more stable choice. But then again, Penn State would be the easier move for me, and, from what I have heard about crime in both areas, State College would be the less stressful place to live, at least during the beginning of the program.

I'm in contact with my mentors and with professors from both programs, but I still feel stuck. Does anyone have thoughts?

I obviously have a horse in this race because I'm headed to Penn State this fall and would love to have you in my cohort (middlebrow fiction, yes!), but for what it's worth, here's a breakdown of some of the relevant factors that led me to choose a school with a heavier teaching load (PSU) over one with a lighter teaching load (Ohio State): the stipend was higher, there were more opportunities for summer teaching, there was a guaranteed one-semester teaching release while dissertating, the resources for 20th/21st century American lit were stronger (so strong that they compelled me, a would-be narrative theorist, to turn down the school that's the epicenter for narrative studies in the U.S.), the program was longer and included a more-or-less guaranteed post-doc year (this was a plus for me, 6/7 years vs. 5, but I know that may not be the case for everyone), and the move to PA would be easier for me (and puts me much closer to family, which was a big deal to me). Also, full disclosure, because I already have a grad degree from OSU, I was certainly drawn a bit to the novelty of a different school and a different department (not so much that it was an ultimate determining factor, but enough to note here).

Also, my understanding regarding the 2:1 teaching load at Penn State is that not everyone actually winds up teaching two courses in that odd semester; where possible, you can swap out some other, potentially less time-consuming service (tutoring, writing center work, etc.) for one of the two courses. Also, the fact that you're only teaching two courses for one semester out of every four seemed ultimately negligible to me (but I'm coming in with a decent chunk of teaching experience--and major burn-out from two years in the non-teaching sphere--and I'm (perhaps naively!) looking forward to diving in headfirst with teaching).

All that said, two years with no teaching requirement to start is a big, big deal. Teaching is a big drain on your time, and two years without that obligation can really allow you to get your grounding, explore all your department has to offer, etc. (I do think there's equal value to having time off from teaching while dissertating--I had a fellowship in the final semester of my MFA program without which I probably wouldn't have completed my thesis--but it's possible such opportunities are available at WashU, too.) I also know WashU's placement record is great, and everyone I've encountered on Grad Cafe with a connection to the program has had only glowing things to say.

I don't think you can go wrong here either way, and I'm wishing you all the best as you make your choice. If you want to talk any more about my choice to attend Penn State, don't hesitate to send me a message!

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2 hours ago, Wimsey said:

I am finding myself stuck in my decision between WashU and Penn State. The stipend/COL is roughly the same for both programs. I have gotten along well with the faculty members I have met at WashU. They all indicated that the university would be a great fit for my interests; the DGS was especially adamant on this point. At Penn State, I have spoken with only one faculty member in my prospective field, but I got along well with her. There seem to be many resources for studying the twentieth century at PSU, and the larger department could give me more opportunities to branch out into other subfields. At the same time, Penn State requires more teaching than WashU. I would be on fellowship during my first year and then teach three classes in my second year, whereas WashU would have me teach a 1:1 starting in my third year. In contrast to PSU, WashU's stipend is not dependent on my teaching, which I think is a major point in that program's favor. One of my undergrad professors has told me as well that in this economic climate, attending a private university might be the more stable choice. But then again, Penn State would be the easier move for me, and, from what I have heard about crime in both areas, State College would be the less stressful place to live, at least during the beginning of the program.

I'm in contact with my mentors and with professors from both programs, but I still feel stuck. Does anyone have thoughts?

 

25 minutes ago, politics 'n prose said:

I obviously have a horse in this race because I'm headed to Penn State this fall and would love to have you in my cohort (middlebrow fiction, yes!), but for what it's worth, here's a breakdown of some of the relevant factors that led me to choose a school with a heavier teaching load (PSU) over one with a lighter teaching load (Ohio State): the stipend was higher, there were more opportunities for summer teaching, there was a guaranteed one-semester teaching release while dissertating, the resources for 20th/21st century American lit were stronger (so strong that they compelled me, a would-be narrative theorist, to turn down the school that's the epicenter for narrative studies in the U.S.), the program was longer and included a more-or-less guaranteed post-doc year (this was a plus for me, 6/7 years vs. 5, but I know that may not be the case for everyone), and the move to PA would be easier for me (and puts me much closer to family, which was a big deal to me). Also, full disclosure, because I already have a grad degree from OSU, I was certainly drawn a bit to the novelty of a different school and a different department (not so much that it was an ultimate determining factor, but enough to note here).

Also, my understanding regarding the 2:1 teaching load at Penn State is that not everyone actually winds up teaching two courses in that odd semester; where possible, you can swap out some other, potentially less time-consuming service (tutoring, writing center work, etc.) for one of the two courses. Also, the fact that you're only teaching two courses for one semester out of every four seemed ultimately negligible to me (but I'm coming in with a decent chunk of teaching experience--and major burn-out from two years in the non-teaching sphere--and I'm (perhaps naively!) looking forward to diving in headfirst with teaching).

All that said, two years with no teaching requirement to start is a big, big deal. Teaching is a big drain on your time, and two years without that obligation can really allow you to get your grounding, explore all your department has to offer, etc. (I do think there's equal value to having time off from teaching while dissertating--I had a fellowship in the final semester of my MFA program without which I probably wouldn't have completed my thesis--but it's possible such opportunities are available at WashU, too.) I also know WashU's placement record is great, and everyone I've encountered on Grad Cafe with a connection to the program has had only glowing things to say.

I don't think you can go wrong here either way, and I'm wishing you all the best as you make your choice. If you want to talk any more about my choice to attend Penn State, don't hesitate to send me a message!

I'm heading to WashU and must admit that the teaching load was absolutely a draw for me. I must say this point is often overlooked during the honeymoon phase of being accepted somewhere and being excited to go, but it is so important. If you'd like more detail, here's what the professor I spoke to said about the teaching load at WashU:

"The teaching doesn’t begin until your 3rd year, when you would serve as essentially a TA for both semesters.  After this, you teach 1 course each semester of your 4th and 5th years  (usually Writing 1, but it can vary widely depending on your situation, interests, the department needs, etc.; normally you’d co-teach an undergrad class with a professor one semester too).  Your sixth year (like your 1st and 2nd) is fully funded with no teaching obligations."

Imo, 2:1 teaching load for 4 years is a lot, but not impossible. It will be stressful but give you a lot of experience and some people really enjoy teaching.Teaching while writing a dissertation is another story. That would be a big deal and a huge drawback if required. If you haven't already, I'd reach out to  advanced and ABD students at Penn State to find out what they thought about their teaching loads throughout.

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5 hours ago, politics 'n prose said:

I obviously have a horse in this race because I'm headed to Penn State this fall and would love to have you in my cohort (middlebrow fiction, yes!), but for what it's worth, here's a breakdown of some of the relevant factors that led me to choose a school with a heavier teaching load (PSU) over one with a lighter teaching load (Ohio State): the stipend was higher, there were more opportunities for summer teaching, there was a guaranteed one-semester teaching release while dissertating, the resources for 20th/21st century American lit were stronger (so strong that they compelled me, a would-be narrative theorist, to turn down the school that's the epicenter for narrative studies in the U.S.), the program was longer and included a more-or-less guaranteed post-doc year (this was a plus for me, 6/7 years vs. 5, but I know that may not be the case for everyone), and the move to PA would be easier for me (and puts me much closer to family, which was a big deal to me). Also, full disclosure, because I already have a grad degree from OSU, I was certainly drawn a bit to the novelty of a different school and a different department (not so much that it was an ultimate determining factor, but enough to note here).

Also, my understanding regarding the 2:1 teaching load at Penn State is that not everyone actually winds up teaching two courses in that odd semester; where possible, you can swap out some other, potentially less time-consuming service (tutoring, writing center work, etc.) for one of the two courses. Also, the fact that you're only teaching two courses for one semester out of every four seemed ultimately negligible to me (but I'm coming in with a decent chunk of teaching experience--and major burn-out from two years in the non-teaching sphere--and I'm (perhaps naively!) looking forward to diving in headfirst with teaching).

All that said, two years with no teaching requirement to start is a big, big deal. Teaching is a big drain on your time, and two years without that obligation can really allow you to get your grounding, explore all your department has to offer, etc. (I do think there's equal value to having time off from teaching while dissertating--I had a fellowship in the final semester of my MFA program without which I probably wouldn't have completed my thesis--but it's possible such opportunities are available at WashU, too.) I also know WashU's placement record is great, and everyone I've encountered on Grad Cafe with a connection to the program has had only glowing things to say.

I don't think you can go wrong here either way, and I'm wishing you all the best as you make your choice. If you want to talk any more about my choice to attend Penn State, don't hesitate to send me a message!

 

4 hours ago, Cryss said:

 

I'm heading to WashU and must admit that the teaching load was absolutely a draw for me. I must say this point is often overlooked during the honeymoon phase of being accepted somewhere and being excited to go, but it is so important. If you'd like more detail, here's what the professor I spoke to said about the teaching load at WashU:

"The teaching doesn’t begin until your 3rd year, when you would serve as essentially a TA for both semesters.  After this, you teach 1 course each semester of your 4th and 5th years  (usually Writing 1, but it can vary widely depending on your situation, interests, the department needs, etc.; normally you’d co-teach an undergrad class with a professor one semester too).  Your sixth year (like your 1st and 2nd) is fully funded with no teaching obligations."

Imo, 2:1 teaching load for 4 years is a lot, but not impossible. It will be stressful but give you a lot of experience and some people really enjoy teaching.Teaching while writing a dissertation is another story. That would be a big deal and a huge drawback if required. If you haven't already, I'd reach out to  advanced and ABD students at Penn State to find out what they thought about their teaching loads throughout.

Thank you both for your input! I'm continuing to weigh the pros and cons for both schools, and I hope I can feel at peace with whatever decision I reach over the next few days. I have no prior teaching experience, so even though I am excited to teach and have confidence in my abilities, the lighter load at WashU appeals to me. Still, the Penn State teaching would be doable, especially with the fellowship they've offered me. I'll keep talking with people at both schools, and hopefully I'll reach a breakthrough soon.

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1 hour ago, vvolgate said:

Anyone else still on waitlists and loosing their mind? Because I am loosing my mind. 

Mostly worried about people who have already committed and who are either intentionally or unintentionally delaying denying other offers. 

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11 minutes ago, hamnet in tights said:

Is... that a thing people do? Because that's shitty.

I have heard of people not wanting to write the difficult emails and delaying it until a few days before the deadline. I hope it’s not too common. Anyways it’s nice to see people here being proactive. 

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2 hours ago, bgh94 said:

I have heard of people not wanting to write the difficult emails and delaying it until a few days before the deadline. I hope it’s not too common. Anyways it’s nice to see people here being proactive. 

Ah, see, I would’ve never known that was a problem people have, seeing as I’m still waiting on news so I haven’t committed anywhere... 😅

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6 minutes ago, karamazov said:

Anyone know if taking two 3 hour long graduate seminars back-to-back on the same day is a death wish? 

No, but it's definitely tougher. Both semesters here I've had "long" days with 3-4 classes and they're rough and some days you will be very tired but I don't think it's worse than maybe taking classes you're less interested in.

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52 minutes ago, karamazov said:

Anyone know if taking two 3 hour long graduate seminars back-to-back on the same day is a death wish? 

Depends. Where I did my MAs, our three hour seminars generally always ended up having a 10-15 minute break somewhere in the middle. That even with a break would be too much for me, mentally, but I know people who genuinely prefer that kind of schedule. It can be handy for long commutes, sharing a vehicle, etc... 

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So, I already said similarly in the waitlist thread, but... my thought is because we're in the middle of a major holiday celebration for a minimum of two very large religions, we won't see as much movement until Monday even though we're chugging to the finish line. Monday might be a heck of a day, though.  

(I'm actually kind of sickeningly crossing my fingers that I don't get news in case it's bad news... I don't normally really appreciate Passover as much as I should, but this year, with everything? I'm kind of digging the vibes, lol. And Happy Easter to those of you who do that. And Happy Holidays to anyone else I've missed.)   

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On 4/8/2020 at 10:46 PM, vvolgate said:

Ah, see, I would’ve never known that was a problem people have, seeing as I’m still waiting on news so I haven’t committed anywhere... 😅

This is actually the problem. Some people are still waiting, so they can't commit, so everything gets jumbled till the very end (similar to how we write conference presentations on the plane ride there).

Made much worse by a killer virus.

Edited by Shakespeares Sister
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On 4/7/2020 at 7:40 PM, Wimsey said:

 

Thank you both for your input! I'm continuing to weigh the pros and cons for both schools, and I hope I can feel at peace with whatever decision I reach over the next few days. I have no prior teaching experience, so even though I am excited to teach and have confidence in my abilities, the lighter load at WashU appeals to me. Still, the Penn State teaching would be doable, especially with the fellowship they've offered me. I'll keep talking with people at both schools, and hopefully I'll reach a breakthrough soon.

Hey, Wimsey! I think it would be super worth it to reach out to Penn State to ask if they are able to offer you additional semesters or years off of teaching in order to match your WashU offer. In fact, I happen to know that schools with similar profiles to Penn State have historically been willing to negotiate this, especially when they can go to the dean's office or other administrative unit and say that they are trying to match a student's competing offer. At the very least, it can't hurt! 

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So now that I don't have to worry about waiting for news/making choices, my brain has moved on to its next fixation: possibly starting school in quarantine. I know it's too soon to know whether it'll happen and it's useless to worry, but it's tough! Anyone else dealing with this?

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1 hour ago, tinymica said:

So now that I don't have to worry about waiting for news/making choices, my brain has moved on to its next fixation: possibly starting school in quarantine. I know it's too soon to know whether it'll happen and it's useless to worry, but it's tough! Anyone else dealing with this?

I am. I had always envisioned teaching a class in person for my first semester of doctoral studies, but I may now be teaching it online... :(

I just remember that these are first-world problems. Most people do not continue their education to the doctoral level.

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3 hours ago, tinymica said:

So now that I don't have to worry about waiting for news/making choices, my brain has moved on to its next fixation: possibly starting school in quarantine. I know it's too soon to know whether it'll happen and it's useless to worry, but it's tough! Anyone else dealing with this?

ugGHHGHGggggggggggghhhhhh DO NOT WANT.

I'm trying not to think about not getting a live literature seminar in the fall and just taking this one day at a time. 

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1 hour ago, merry night wanderer said:

ugGHHGHGggggggggggghhhhhh DO NOT WANT.

I'm trying not to think about not getting a live literature seminar in the fall and just taking this one day at a time. 

Honestly for me that's so hard to imagine I'm literally starting to wonder about the possibility of deferring... 

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